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demystifying the myth

of effortless success

April 16, 2023 / Ronny Eriksson

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Often we find ourselves lurking what others are up to and how well others are doing.


It's not a new action of humanity, but it has been fueled by the rise of technology.


Before, you could compare your progress to those close to you - today, your reference is the whole world.


And this world is different because it is filtered. It's not an honest perspective because we can't see the whole story.


This is highlighted by people mostly posting the good parts – the success stories.


"Nobody wants to show you the hours and hours of becoming. They'd rather show the highlight of what they've become."

— Angela Duckworth


This highlight reel we see as life makes us misperceive the world. Life and success are downplayed to be easy and as something that "just" happens.


So far that from an outsider's perspective, another person's success happens overnight.


This often leads us to think we are less than others: Less knowledgeable, less capable, doing something wrong, or built the wrong way.


Our mind plays funny games because it sees the tip of the iceberg and accepts that it is the absolute truth.

There is a lot of effort under the surface of success.  


When we should put effort, we sink into the chaos of our minds - perceiving it negatively.


In today's journal, we'll dive deep into the freezing cold sea of life, demystifying the myth of effortless success.


It all starts with us embracing the chaos that keeps our minds lost.


the beauty of chaos in life

"You need chaos in your soul to give birth to a dancing star."

 - Friedrich Nietzsche


If there is one thing I've been good at, it has been chaos.


When we think of chaos, we often envision the destruction and turmoil that it can bring. 


Social unrest, such as pandemics, crises, and uncertainty, can leave behind devastation and chaos in their wake. Moreover, everyday stressors like managing finances, maintaining relationships, and balancing work and personal life can lead to chaos and confusion. Dealing with these issues can be overwhelming. They can leave you feeling helpless and uncertain about the future. 


However, amidst the destruction, chaos can also be beautiful in its raw and unfiltered nature. Chaos can catalyze change, pushing you and societies to confront long-standing issues and seek new solutions. 

Chaos can also create opportunities for growth and renewal as individuals and communities come together to rebuild and create a better future. 


My 20s have been a very chaotic time for my mind. I'm not alone in that statement.


I've been good at comparing my success with others, following paths made by others, and stating that: "I'm a lost soul."


This is a belief that has limited my success my whole life.




There is so much I want to do; worse, the modern world allows us to do a bit of it all if we wish to.


I've allowed myself to accept that I'm lost, which has worked as an acceptance to my brain to make a decision that will surely make me lost.


Our world's turmoil didn't make it easier, with even more change filling the air.


But at the same time, it all worked as the catalyst of change, forcing me to stop and confront the long-standing issues I was living with.


I was living in a bubble, thinking success "just" happens: "You'll find success if you stack up skills here and there, running after each opportunity."


That is how I perceived other people did it – floating to success effortlessly.


A wake-up for me was when I read Angela Duckworth's book Grit.


Amid the chaos, I found the following:

"Without effort, your talent is nothing more than unmet potential. Without effort, your skill is nothing more than what you could have done but didn't."

I learned that life doesn't just happen to you – that success doesn't just happen to you.


The iceberg bottom of the iceberg became visible, and one realization ruled:


the misconception of an effortless life

Life is a journey filled with ups and downs, twists and turns, and unexpected surprises. 


While it may appear that some individuals lead effortless lives, the reality is that there is no such thing as an effortless life. 


Success and happiness are not handed out on a silver platter but earned through hard work, perseverance, and determination.


The belief in an effortless life is a common misconception that often stems from a lack of understanding of the hard work and sacrifices that go into achieving success. 


Individuals who appear to lead an effortless life may have worked tirelessly behind the scenes to reach their goals, overcome obstacles, and achieve their dreams. 


In fact, many successful people will tell you that the journey to success is often challenging and filled with setbacks, failures, and disappointments.


The worst part is that the idea of an effortless life can also be damaging because it creates unrealistic expectations and can lead to feelings of inadequacy and failure when we inevitably face challenges and obstacles in our own lives. 


It's important to remember that setbacks and failures are a natural part of life. How we respond to these challenges ultimately determines our success.

We must be willing to put in the effort and make sacrifices to succeed.


There are no alternative paths here.


This may mean sacrificing leisure time to focus on our goals, pushing ourselves outside our comfort zones, and facing failure and setbacks. 


While it may not be easy, the journey toward success is often the most rewarding part of the process. Realizing this is the beauty of chaos.


We can create a fulfilling and meaningful life by embracing the challenges and obstacles that come our way and putting in the necessary effort to achieve our goals.

the 3-step success model

I want to give you a practical model for achieving success without overwhelming you. 


This three-step model is simple yet challenging, like any other path to success. 


Initially, it may be challenging to get started. Still, with practice, iteration, and persistence, it will become more accessible and enjoyable. 


This model will help you embrace challenges as opportunities, do the necessary work, and celebrate progress.


Step 1: Embrace Challenges as Opportunities

Challenges are a natural part of life and can be overwhelming, scary, and difficult to deal with.


However, it's essential to remember that challenges also offer growth, change, and progress opportunities. 


Embracing challenges means accepting that they are a natural part of the journey toward success and can help you become a better version of yourself.


To embrace challenges as opportunities, start by acknowledging your feelings and fears. 


Don't ignore them or push them away. Instead, accept them and use them as motivation to take action. 


Identify the specific challenge you're facing and determine what steps you can take to overcome it. 


Seek new solutions and strategies to help you navigate the obstacle and move forward.


Remember that challenges can be overwhelming, but they can also be empowering. 


You can develop resilience, strength, and confidence by facing your challenges head-on and embracing them as opportunities.


You can also build the skills and knowledge you need to achieve your goals and succeed.


Step 2: Put in the Work

Success and happiness require hard work, dedication, and determination. 


You must be willing to make sacrifices, step outside your comfort zone, and persist in facing failure. 


This might mean sacrificing leisure time to focus on your goals, pushing yourself beyond your limits, and developing new skills and knowledge.


To put in the work, start by setting clear and specific goals for yourself. 


Break down your goals into smaller, achievable steps and create a plan of action to help you achieve them. 


Be prepared to make sacrifices and prioritize your goals over other activities or distractions that might stand in your way.


Remember that hard work is not always easy or enjoyable. Still, it is often the most rewarding part of the process. 


By working and staying committed to your goals, you can develop the resilience, perseverance, and determination you need to succeed.


Step 3: Celebrate Progress

Success is achieved through step-by-step progress, not just the final destination. 


It's essential to celebrate each small victory along the way and acknowledge the effort and hard work that has gone into achieving each milestone. 


Celebrating progress helps build momentum and motivation toward achieving long-term goals.


To celebrate progress, start by setting milestones and tracking your progress toward them. 


Celebrate each milestone by rewarding yourself and acknowledging the effort and hard work you put into achieving it. Remember that progress is not always linear, and setbacks and challenges are a natural part of the process.


By celebrating progress, you will stay motivated and focused on your long-term goals. 


You can also build confidence in your ability to succeed and develop the resilience to overcome obstacles and challenges. 


Remember to enjoy the journey and celebrate each small victory along the way.

the truth about success and the beauty of chaos


Everything above will create the base for you to succeed.


You choose what success means to you, but the journey toward it is the same.


Comparing oneself to others and their highlight reels can create false perceptions of success and life, leading to feelings of inadequacy and failure. 


To achieve success, one must be willing to put in the effort, make sacrifices, and persist in facing failure and setbacks. 


The journey toward success may not be easy, but it is often the most rewarding part of the process. 


Remembering this helps you navigate the challenges and obstacles that come your way and ultimately achieve your goals.


That's it for this week.


Enjoy the journey, friends.


See you next week!


- Ronny Eriksson

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